Some days I feel I am in this fight alone. I feel like the enemy has a hold of my parents, and I am the only one that can save them. I put so much pressure on myself, that when I fail to love them, I tear myself up. I have taken all the weight, and tried to carry it myself. But they are not mine to save.
At the same time I was raiding the candy store with my friend, there were two significant life lessons my parents were emphasizing back home: eat food that is good for you, and pray about everything. I did not enjoy either lesson at the time. You see sugar was delicious, vegetables were disgusting, and prayer was a boring waste of time, but I felt constant guilt to do it.
As a quiet young girl who tried her hardest to say as little as possible, Colossians 4:6 encouraged me to make use of my words and be intentional. This shifted my perspective. Instead of doing my best to use as few words as possible, I started to view my speech as a way to point others to Christ.
I am strong. I am not one to shy away from conflict. I am outspoken. I like to ask people to be friends with me. I like to tell people the things I like about them - even if I don’t know their name. Although this might sound like a good thing, sometimes this trait can be perceived as too strong. When people point this out, I tend to shrink into my turtle shell and shut down, believing the lie that I need to change, that my personality is too much for others to handle.
Our culture has taught us that to love someone you need to accept them, all of them. Tolerance is key. The Bible teaches us the contrary. Love does not tolerate blatant sin. If someone, particularly a fellow believer, has a consistent sin issue: gossip, pride, anger, sexual immorality of any kind, slander, etc. it is our duty to say something.
Few of us actually care about what is true by God’s standard. Our sinful human nature wants to believe a truth that is popular. A truth that looks “close enough” to God’s truth but justifies something we previously knew was sin, or a truth that is more “enlightened” than God’s truth because it is more “loving” and less “judging”. We like playing God and defining truths like these. They are more comfortable truths. We enjoy living a deception that makes us feel better about ourselves and others.
He stepped down from heaven to move to earth. To us. The real estate wasn’t better, that’s for sure. His motivation wasn’t better scenery and a shorter commute. His move to us was to make a way for us to move toward Him.
People may not have been happy, but I felt freedom in knowing that my Savior was. Living a life modeled after Christ isn’t the norm. It takes strength and courage to stand up against the strong cultural current. And people aren’t going to like it.
The old phrase, “Sticks and stones may break my bones, but words can never hurt me,” is one of the biggest lies to ever penetrate our society. The wounds from the words of others have left a far more lasting impression upon my heart than the physical wounds I have received.